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Prison journalism: Tales from the harsh reality of life behind bars

03/10/2023

Prison journalism: Tales from the harsh reality of life behind barsJonno Knowles was incarcerated in Pollsmoor Prison and participated in restorative justice while inside the prison.

by Jonno Knowles

03-10-2023 08:15

in Prison Journalism

Jonno Knowles was incarcerated in Pollsmoor Prison and participated in restorative justice while inside the prison.

Image by unsplash

Prison can be rough. There are times when inmates stand together. When the law gets on with its ugly work. The rough stuff is often overlooked, and many innocent fellas will feel the wrath. The standpoint is that we are all NOT innocent, as contraband runs through a chain of command and passes many hands. Someone knew something, and someone should have spoken. If you can't give a name, then you are indeed part of the game, friend.

--

Facing the EST raid There is no escaping the hard-line approach of the EST. They, as they come through from another prison, don't know us and are tasked with a job that, in fact, involves my and the general postulation safety. On this occasion, I managed to survive a raid and took the images with my illegal mobile phone. They kicked me in the gut and bruised my eye. It's ironic because the only way that a smartphone can get into the prison is with one of the Roaches.

ALSO READ: Prison journalism: Free Mind

Psychological and emotional toll Totally annihilated our simple lives in the cell. The phrase in Afrikaans is verwoes. It can mean anything related to devastation, and violence is the starting point! Never in my life have I felt so insignificant, and I have been in some precarious situations:

--

1. The ocean (I surf).

2. The air turbulence (I have traveled).

3. The elephant defensive flopping.

--

4. Look, I've never had that feeling of oh shit, what is about to happen too '

Happened so fast, can't even talk about it. For one or two lucky persons who endure minimal physical harm. Not hurt, we can forget about hurt. Harm remains attached deep in our minds and flesh. Surely, the psychological effects shall indeed haunt' one until dementia/Alzheimer's sets in. Even then, that memory shall remain.

ALSO READ: Prison journalism: Life behind bars: Tale of resilience and unexpected bonds

The verbal taunts and instructions cause chaos (deliberate). The physical threat is very real. Recall the cold place, concrete, and reinforced steel. Pandemonium is each to his own, yet don't forget you are not alone!

Should you wish to assist in the rehabilitation of former inmates and help put money into the pockets of those who have struggled to earn a living during and after incarceration, click HERE

DISCLAIMER: Submission published as received

RESTORE is an NGO based in Cape Town, South Africa, providing inmates at Pollsmoor Prison with restorative justice opportunities.

If you have any questions you would like to ask our prison journalists, WhatsApp us on 060 011 0211.

Do you have contact with a prison inmate who would like to write for The South African website? If so, send an email to info@thesouthafrican.com or a WhatsApp to 060 011 0211.

You can also follow @TheSAnews on Twitter and The South African on Facebook to get the latest prison journalism articles.

Is jy Afrikaans? Kliek hier vir nuus in jou taal!
LINK: https://www.thesouthafrican.com/culture/prison-journalism/prison-journ...
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